This "Cute" Ground Drone Wants to Beat Amazon to Autonomous Delivery Service

Look for this picnic cooler on wheels to maybe stroll down a suburban sidewalk soon.

Much of the focus on drone delivery has centered on Amazon’s top-down approach to implementing its flying delivery drones, but Starship Technologies, a company founded by Skype co-founder Ahti Heinla, aims to start at the local level with rolling drones.

In a CBS This Morning appearance today, Heinla explained that flying drones just aren’t ready for deployment until governmental regulations come down the pipe. On the other hand, ground or land drones could likely be sent out on streets today. However, that claim is only true because there are currently little to no regulations regarding this field and much less public scrutiny than flying drones.

The drone could be tested on U.S. streets and sidewalks starting next month but is already rolling along in London. This sort of cooler-on-wheels can be summoned through a mobile app, travel up to three miles honed to the user’s geo location, and won’t unlock the compartment until it’s arrived at the location.

Starship says the device is designed to be “cute” and approachable in order to appeal to everyday consumers, which is why he rejects the name ground or land drone as too techy and unaccessible.

The world’s smallest SUV weighs just 40 pounds when fully loaded and can reach speeds of four mph, which the company says is equivalent to pedestrian speeds. Starship is targeting more suburban areas because city streets are already too crowded without little autonomous coolers driving around.

But the real caveat here is that it cuts down delivery costs for small businesses. The company’s website claims it can lower local delivery costs by a factor of 5-10 times, because of course buying a drone costs less than paying a human a living wage. Teenagers already lost the ability to earn candy money through a paper route and now they’re going to take away delivery jobs?

Oh, and Starship still hasn’t come up with a name for this potentially billion-dollar-valued device, and it has made the mistake of leaving it up to the people of the internet to name the device.

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